So what does a fitness guru do to bounce back as fast as possible from soreness (especially when he wants to enjoy a few good days on the Hawaiian beaches)? Here are the most effective methods I’ve been using lately (and here’s how to know whether you should actually feel sore after your workout):
- Hot-Cold Contrast Showers: These increase blood flow and help to shuttle inflammation out of the muscle. Just take a 5-minute shower, and alternate between 20 seconds cold and 10 seconds hot. See also How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight.
- Curcumin: In high doses, this tasty ancient Indian spice is actually a potent anti-inflammatory. I take over a gram a day for several days after a really hard workout. I use a capsule, since using that much curry on food would be a bit much! And I definitely avoid ibuprofen – here’s why.
- Massage: Since it can be time-consuming and expensive, I rarely go out of my way to hunt down a long sports massage. But after a very hard workout or race, I make an exception. Just one good massage can make an enormous difference and is far more effective than an foam roller if you really, truly beat up – (since a foam roller takes quite a bit of energy to use properly).